The Dewsbury constituency runs as far south as Birds Edge and Farnley Tyas and so an important part of my summer routine is keeping in touch with some of the villages around Kirkburton and Denby Dale.
Because my office is in Dewsbury and we have regular street stalls in Dewsbury and Mirfield, I try to move summer events around as much as possible so that people who can’t get into town can have the opportunity to put their points and get involved. One of the ways I do this is to have Meet Your MP evenings in some of the smaller villages in the southern half of the constituency and this makes August a busy month, even though some of the many events that I was invited to fell foul of the weather.
The day of Emley Show was typical of the summer. In the morning we were rained on as we held the street stall in Dewsbury, but later up at the show we saw one of the sunniest afternoons of the summer. Unfortunately, my trip up Emley Mast a few days earlier was on one of the rainy days!
The weather was kinder on the Sunday of my Help for Heroes cricket match. A House of Commons and Kirkburton team played a side from Emmerdale and we managed to raise more than £4,300 for a really worthwhile charity.
As well as being out and about meeting people, I have also been able to visit some local businesses. The best way to find out how national policies are affecting local businesses is to go and see things and talk to people face to face. I have met some real success stories including one local firm that set up in February and is on course to turn over more than £1.5m in its first year. Success stories like this – and there are many of them – rarely get the publicity they deserve.
A highlight of the summer is the Mirfield Show. Thank you to everyone who came and said hello. It was our busiest show and a special thank you to all those who had read about George’s campaign to become Westminster Dog of the Year and called in to pledge support! The serious message is how well this competition promotes responsible dog ownership at a time when pets are being abandoned. Recently Louise and I rescued a dog from the central reservation of a dual carriageway.
It didn’t have a collar and had clearly been abandoned. Fortunately with the help of the Dogs’ Trust he has been rehomed, but it could easily have been very different.